Whenever you develop a rash anywhere on your body, your first thoughts may be: is it serious? Should you see a doctor? The following four rules can help you make this decision.
How frustrated are you with the rash
If the rash really bothers you, see your doctor – period. It doesn't matter if it's a common skin problem or if other people tell you it's okay. You are someone who has to live with your skin, so if you want professional skincare, go for it.
Even easily treatable rashes can cause immense physical discomfort if you're not sure what to do about them.
Imagine that you do not know that you have a sport foot . You may be able to endure the itchiness and burning of your skin for days or weeks, but it will probably come to a point where it will drive you crazy. The solution may be a simple over-the-counter skin cream, but if you don't know which cream to use, it won't do you any good.
The rash can also cause psychological stress and anxiety. If you are anxious or lose sleep due to this condition, this is another good reason to make an appointment with your doctor.
How long have you had a rash?
In most cases, a rash that has been present for several days will go away on its own. Generally, the longer you have a rash, the more likely it will not go away without treatment.
If you have a rash for more than a few days, you should receive a medical diagnosis and treatment.
If you've had the same rash before, you may have the same problem again. Many people think that the recurrent rash has not been diagnosed correctly. First, many rashes do not necessarily heal, they are only temporarily controlled and can reappear.
For example, rashes like acne , eczema , atopic dermatitis , seborrheic dermatitis , psoriasis , hives , genital herpes , and rosacea can worsen and decrease depending on many factors. Learn about any diagnosed rashes so you know what to expect in the future.
You may be surprised to learn that you need to continue treatment to keep your rash under control.
In rare cases, the rash may change over time and require different treatment. If your rash does not respond to medications that have worked in the past, or if you think it is getting worse, tell your doctor.
Always call your doctor if you are not sure whether to continue treatment or not.
What does a rash look like?
Some rashes can be easily treated with over-the-counter medications. If you have a poison ivy-like rash, you most likely have poison ivy.
But sometimes you can't find a picture or description that exactly matches the look of your skin. Or your rash may look like two or three different conditions. It is better to get a professional opinion and start the correct treatment sooner rather than later.
When to contact a healthcare provider
If your symptoms are mild and short-lived, you may not need to see a doctor.
Make an appointment with your doctor if the rash really bothers you physically or mentally, if it does not go away after a couple of days, or if it is not the same as it was before. You can consult a GP or dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in treating the skin) to get the correct diagnosis and treatment plan.
Warning signs to seek immediate medical attention include pain, rapid swelling, shortness of breath, bleeding, blisters, skin that quickly turns dark or black, and a lot of peeling.